Duleep Trophy: Baba Indrajith lifts India Red to 291/9 vs India Blue
Baba Indrajith’s century and Ankit Rajpoot’s three-wicket haul were the highlights on Day 1 of the Duleep Trophy tie between India Red and India Blue in Kanpur.cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2017 23:36 IST
Baba Indrajith struck yet another first-class century to help India Red stage a remarkable comeback and finish the day at a respectable 291 for nine on the opening day of their four-day Duleep Trophy tie against India Blue on Wednesday.
Right-hand batsman Indrajith was on 59 when India Red’s ninth wicket fell at 205 in 65.5 overs, and a recovery looked uncertain. But the 23-year-old from Chennai didn’t lose heart.
His unbeaten 181-ball 120, which had 12 fours and two sixes, was his fifth first-class century in his 33rd match. He along with No 11 Vijay D Gohil (22*, 35b, 4x4) have already added 86 runs for the 10th wicket.
Indrajith didn’t give even a single chance to Suresh Raina and Co. He along with Gohil kept teasing the India Blue bowlers, who looked frustrated at the end of day’s play.
Earlier Uttar Pradesh paceman Ankit Rajpoot’s 3/33 helped India Blue reduce India Red to 161/7 at the dinner break on the first day of their Duleep Trophy match here at the Green Park on Wednesday. The day-night tournament is being played with pink ball.
Rajput removed the hero of the previous match Priyank Panchal for 36 (78 balls), trapping him leg-before the wicket.
The right-handed Gujarat batsman had added 70 runs for the first wicket with Sudip Chatterjee. Both the batsmen had done well in the previous game and once again provided the team with a solid start. However, once Panchal was dismissed, Chatterjee followed and then a flurry of wickets saw them get reduced to 99 for four.
International stars Rishabh Pant and Karn Sharma, who have represented India at various levels, failed to fire and soon India Red were struggling at 138 for six. Tamil Nadu batsman Baba Indrajith was the lone ranger, putting up a fight with an unbeaten 32 at the break. Indrajith looked good but sedate as he rotated the strike, collecting just two boundaries in the process.
While Rajput was responsible for breaking the strong opening stand, India Blue skipper Suresh Raina provided the second breakthrough as he castled Chatterjee to give his side a lucky and fortunate break. Raina backed his experience, bringing himself early just as the new ball had begun to lose its shine.
Services batsman Rahul Singh couldn’t stay at the crease for long, and was caught behind by Ishan Kishan off the bowling of Rajput for a mere seven. Soon former India international Dinesh Karthik, who had looked good at the crease, scoring 15 runs quickly (24 balls, 2x4s), fells soon after. It was a big blow as Karthik was looking to bring in a sense of urgency to the innings. He was trapped leg-before by Baroda left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt.
Bhatt, Maharshtra offie Akshay Wakhare, Raina and quite interestingly, Manoj Tiwary picked a wicket apiece to inflict dents in Red innings.
India Red had won the Duleep opener in Lucknow, thrashing the Parthiv Patel-led India Green by 170 runs. Panchal, with back-to-back hundreds and Karn Sharma, with a 10-wicket haul, had starred in that match. However, a loss to Red here would open up the tournament with India Blue’s game against India Green becoming crucial.
India Red 291 for 9 in 84 overs (B Inderjith 120*, P Panchal 36, S Chatterjee 34, V Gohil 22*, A Rajpoot 3 for 44, J Unadkat 2 for 64) vs India Blue.